Tiffany Gordon is executive professional and general manager of Cottonwood Golf and Country Club near Calgary and currently serves as president of the PGA of Alberta. She also frequently lends her thoughts to GNN.
Our corporate year-end is at the end of December, so we’ve got a lot of things to tidy up before the holidays.
It’s important for me to meet with my management team and get their feedback from the past year and I try to do that sooner than later. What can happen is that you come back in the new year, everyone’s had some time off, they feel rejuvenated and they’re all looking at what we can do for the coming year.
As positive as that enthusiasm is, we also need to focus on what they did the previous year and that’s what makes it important to approach staff members while that is still fresh in their minds before leaving for the holidays.
The biggest thing that we did this year, which I’m very proud of, is we had a big members’ focus group. We asked questions on anything from dress code to pace of play to services provided because, again, it was important to seek that information while it was still fresh in the members’ minds.
So, it’s important to get feedback on how the year went from the members’ standpoint and from the staff’s standpoint and to get that early.
We start working on what worked, what didn’t work while it’s still fresh. I’ll let my staff go for the holidays and they don’t come back until the fist week of January.
With the information I’ve received from them in December, I can take time during the holidays to reflect and decide our plan going forward, here’s where the issues are and here’s where we can improve our services and programs.
That gives us a plan of attack out of the gate in January. This year, that will include continued emphasis on the members’ focus groups.
The first focus group was conducted at the end of November. In a perfect world, I probably would have done it at the end of October, but I was juggling my schedule and that of our owner Lyle Edwards. I really believe in having Lyle involved.
We’ll do two more in late January and one probably in mid-to-late February. We take what we generally think we need to work on and then, we narrow it down. If it’s women’s programs, we’ll get 12 to 16 women involved, for example.
I think it’s important to ask the right questions. We do them for about an hour-and-a-half. We don’t take a lot of their time, but it’s pretty interactive.
Well-time and timely feedback can be critical to the success of your operation.